Japan’s jobless rate rises to 3% amid call for ‘economic security’

Latest data shows joblessness in Japan at 3% high.

Japan’s jobless rate rises to 3% amid call for ‘economic security’

As the world’s third-largest economy grapples with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest data from the government showed that the jobless rate in Japan has risen to 3%.

Citing data of Japan’s Internal Affairs Ministry, public broadcaster NHK reported that it is the first time in five months for the figure to hit the 3% level.

Amid challenges to return to pre-pandemic levels, Japan’s Labor Ministry officials say “new job offers last month numbered 686,225. That is up 7.7% compared to May last year, when Japan was under its first coronavirus state of emergency.”

“But the figure is still down 26.9% compared to two years earlier before the pandemic,” the broadcaster said.

Japan’s Labor Ministry expects the job market to “remain tough”, as the “outlook remains uncertain.”

This came as Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry noted in its annual trade white paper released on Tuesday that the country “should diversify suppliers and cooperate with the US and other countries to protect supply chains as a way to improve economic security.”

It also called for measures “to prevent sensitive technologies from being leaked.”

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed “the fragility of supply chains”, the white paper said, referring to disruption of medical supplies, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

The ministry also emphasized the need to promote “research, development and capital investment in technologies of strategic importance with the aim of strengthening domestic production and securing a competitive edge.”